Recently, Drew Barrymore, who became famous for his role in the movie "ET" and has appeared in series of blockbuster films such as "Charlie's Angels" and "Scream", has suddenly become the target of public criticism in the American entertainment industry. He was labeled a "scab" by many Hollywood screenwriters who were on strike, and was ridiculed and criticized by a large number of netizens on social media.
The incident originated on September 10, when Drew Barrymore suddenly announced on social media that the latest season (season 4) of the morning talk show "The Drew Barrymore Show", for which he is the host and executive producer , will resume production on September 11 and will be broadcast on time on September 18, which is doubly shocking to Hollywood screenwriters and actors who are on strike.
The first season of "The Drew Barrymore Show" has been broadcast since September 14, 2020. It brought a lot of joy to the American people who were experiencing the epidemic at the time, and also received multiple TV Emmy Award nominations. Excluding advertisements, each episode is about 45 minutes long and mainly includes celebrity interviews, interactive games and funny news broadcasts. As of the third season, which ended on July 11 this year, the show has aired a total of 587 episodes. The production plan for the fourth season has already been finalized by CBS and was originally scheduled to start production in September this year. .
"The Drew Barrymore Show" has aired for three seasons.
However, starting in May this year, the Writers Guild of America began strike action because it was deeply dissatisfied with the package deal proposed by major Hollywood studios. Later, the Screen Actors Guild also joined in. A rare double strike in Hollywood brought almost the entire American film and television production industry to a halt. New works cannot be filmed, and screenwriters and actors cannot be invited to promote already completed works. In this context, Barrymore dared to go against the wind and braved the disapproval of the world, so it was inevitable that he would be criticized.
On September 11, the show began recording in the CBS Broadcasting Building in Manhattan, New York. Downstairs, a large group of writers also set up a cordon, chanting protest slogans while trying to stop Barrymore and the invited recording program. Ordinary audiences enter the production site. To convey the spirit of the strike, the writers handed those in the audience badges bearing the Writers Guild logo. Among the audience at the show, two people had their badges pinned to their clothes. For this reason, they were kicked out of the show by several security guards before they even sat down.
According to the two viewers who were asked to leave, the man and the woman told the media that they did not know each other, but they were both loyal fans of Drew Barrymore. This time, they also signed up for the lottery through the Internet and obtained a place to participate in the show. Moreover, regarding the strike by the Screenwriters Guild and the Screen Actors Guild, both of them said that they did not know much about it in advance. As for the act of wearing the badge, it was purely a temporary move. Faced with being evicted by security guards, both of them expressed their willingness to take off their badges and cooperate with the production of the program. However, they were still violently evicted, which made them very angry. They simply put on the Writers Guild's strike protest shirts and joined the strikers. , shouting slogans to boycott the Barrymore show. The two even said in interviews with the media that it was probably a question whether they would continue to be fans of Barrymore in the future.
Audience members who were kicked out of the show's recording narrated their experiences on social media, attracting many likes from netizens.
On the Internet, there are also calls for a boycott of Barrymore and his works. Actor Joshua Malina, who played the White House press director in the popular American TV series "The West Wing," even called her a "scab." Actor Milana Vaintree, who stars in the American drama "This Is Us," also urgently called on Barrymore to "turn around." Even Elizabeth Koe, the screenwriter who was responsible for the previous three seasons of "The Drew Barrymore Show", changed sides this time and stood among the protestors outside the building, admonishing her boss not to make the same mistake again and again. , emphasizing that the most important thing at this moment is to unite as one and carry the strike to the end. "We must fight for more reasonable treatment and win the respect we deserve."
On September 12, protests on the Internet and outside CBS headquarters finally resulted in further action from relevant parties. The organizers of the National Book Award announced that they would no longer invite Barrymore to serve as the host of this year's awards ceremony as planned. The reason is that the current disputes will distract the public and affect the book award itself.
However, amid all the controversies, the Writers Guild of America has maintained a relatively restrained and low-key stance, clarifying that production of "The Drew Barrymore Show" began without the participation of screenwriters, and did not clarify what Barrymore's actions were. Whether it is considered a strikebreaker or not, whether it is a scab or not. The Actors Guild, on the other hand, did not participate in the boycott at all and stayed completely out of the matter, leaving outsiders who did not understand the strike rules somewhat confused.
The Writers Guild stated that Barrymore's show was being produced without a writer.
In fact, there are certain differences between the specific strike measures of the Screenwriters Guild and the Screen Actors Guild. To put it simply, the Writers Guild prohibits the production of any film, TV series, or even TV programs and commercials that use union writers. As for the Screen Actors Guild, actors are not allowed to participate in the filming, publicity, or promotion of film and television productions during the strike—except for independent film and television productions that have received exemption orders—but hosting morning talk shows is completely unrestricted. Therefore, not only does Barrymore have no problem hosting a talk show, but actress Whoopi Goldberg and others who are hosting the talk show "The View" on ABC TV do not have to worry about being denounced as "scabs" by the Screen Actors Guild. ".
As for the Writers Guild, Barrymore has never been a screenwriter and is not a member of the Writers Guild. Moreover, although the previous three seasons of the show used writers to write various openings, funny jokes and game content, the fourth season of filming this time , Barrymore has already stated that he will not use any screenwriters, so if the Writers Guild really wants to take the big step of expelling him, I am afraid there will be no one to punish him.
In fact, back in May this year when the Writers Guild just started going on strike, Drew Barrymore was greatly praised by them because the MTV Movie and TV Awards ceremony to be held on May 7 was originally scheduled to be hosted by her. As a master of ceremonies, Barrymore suddenly declined the invitation to show his support for the Writers Guild's strike. Many screenwriters enthusiastically praised Barrymore on social media at the time.
It's just that one moment and another, the original example has now become a scab. In Barrymore's own opinion, she really has her own reasons for doing so. In the post announcing the resumption of production of the show, she roughly stated that she resigned from the host job last time because it only involved her alone, but this time, if the filming of a new season of the show is not started, a large number of team members will lose their jobs.
Some critics of this statement pointed out that if he was really worried about the livelihood of the team, Barrymore could have paid the wages of team members during the strike out of his own pocket - in fact, several evening talk show hosts did. time to do so - instead of resuming filming, which would hurt strike morale. After all, all film and television programs cannot be produced by one person, they all require a large team. If everyone uses the excuse of having a team to support, then everyone can violate the strike order, and probably can only leave the negotiating table The management on the other end was snickering from ear to ear.